What is a Prostate Tumor?

The male reproductive system.
Article Details
  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 09 July 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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A prostate tumor is an abnormal cell growth discovered on or in the prostate. While many assume that the presence of a tumor in the male reproductive system indicates the presence of prostate cancer, that is not always the case. However, physicians tend to take the presence of a prostate tumor seriously, and often order a biopsy so that the current status of the growth can be determined and treated accordingly.

There are actually three basic types of prostate tumors. A benign tumor is a mass that is self-contained. That is, the tumor does not appear to be consuming surrounding tissue and has not begun to spread to other parts of the body. This is the least dangerous of any type of prostate tumor, although physicians will sometimes order the removal of the growth or at least monitor it very closely.

The precancerous tumor is a growth that is not currently exhibiting any characteristics associated with cancer. The tumor is not currently spreading through the system and has not yet begun to damage surrounding organs. However, the rapid growth of the tumor along with other warning signs indicates there is a strong chance that cancer will develop in the short term.

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Far and away the most dangerous type of prostate tumor is a malignancy. This tumor is actively consuming tissue and is spreading to other areas of the body. When a tumor is suspected of being malignant, physicians often schedule surgery as soon as possible and remove the growth. If the biopsy on the extracted tumor indicates it is cancerous, a series of follow-up treatments will begin in an attempt to kill off any cancer cells that the malignancy released before its removal from the prostate.

In the event that it becomes necessary to treat prostate cancer, the first line of defense is to remove the growth from the prostate. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be utilized, depending on the circumstances and general health of the patient. Doctors will closely monitor the response of the patient to the treatments and adjust them as necessary. Along with physical treatments, counseling is often included as a means of helping the male deal with the damage to self-esteem that often accompanies this situation.

Even in situations where the prostate tumor is verified as benign, physicians are likely to consider surgery to remove the growth before it can begin to interfere with bodily functions or enter into a growth spurt. In order to detect the presence of a tumor early, digital rectal exams should be performed annually, along with any other screening techniques determined by the physician to be necessary.

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Discuss this Article

CopperPipe
Post 3

What is the difference between a normal prostate cell and a cancerous one? How can the "turn your head and cough" test possibly let a doctor know if your cells are becoming cancerous?

pharmchick78
Post 2

One really interesting discovery about prostate cancer lately is the connection between circulating tumor cells and prostate cancer.

Researchers found that measuring the amount of circulating tumor cells, which are those that have broken off from the tumor, can tell how well a patient is responding to treatment.

On the flip side of that, researchers also found that a common prostate cancer treatment can actually promote prostate metastasis, essentially, the spreading of prostate cancer.

Although that's a scary discovery, at least now we know, and all of the new discoveries being made about prostate cancer ups our chances of curing it.

TunaLine
Post 1

What is the most general prostate cancer staging? My dad is at risk for a prostate carcinoma since he's already had one benign prostate tumor. How does this cancer work, and what are the different stages of it?

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